Gigi & Nate arrives on Blu-ray™ +Digital and DVD November 15 from Lionsgate. Directed by Nick Hamm (Driven, The Journey, The Hole), Gigi &Nate is an inspiring story about how hope and companionship can come in all different sizes.
In this uplifting drama inspired by actual events, Nate (Charlie Rowe) suffers a near-fatal illness and is left a quadriplegic just weeks before departing for college. As Nate tries to adjust to his new life challenges, his mother (Oscar® winner* Marcia Gay Harden) helps him bring home an unlikely service animal, Gigi — a curious and intelligent capuchin monkey. Nate and Gigi form an unbreakable bond, but when it’s threatened by a group trying to outlaw capuchins, Nate’s family rallies behind him to help him regain what he needs most: hope.
Mom Maven’s Thoughts
This is a hard review to write. I wanted to love Gigi & Nate, but I didn’t. On the other hand, I didn’t hate it either. I’ve been looking forward to this movie since I heard about it over the summer. I have an interest in service animals and I had never heard of a capuchin being one. The trailer looked entertaining so I was happy to check it out.
The movie is inspired by actual events, to me that makes it more interesting. Unfortunately the talented cast of veteran and newer actors didn’t have a great script to work with. The entire film felt pretty flat. A story that should have gripped us with emotion played more like a documentary than entertainment.
There was a lot of wasted time at the beginning of the movie, both in Gigi’s origin story, which wasn’t really necessary, and the 4th of July gathering at the beginning. Then it jumps from the hospital to 4 years later without letting the audience see or feel any of the difficulties Nate was experiencing that led them to wanting and needed a service animal. The movie never touched on why Nate was paired with a capuchin monkey instead of a more traditional service animal.
The middle of the movie is nice. We enjoyed getting to see Gigi & Nate bond and how Gigi helped with physical therapy and other needs. There was a sweetness in this part of the film, you could feel the love between the man and animal, even when other family members didn’t understand.
Then the movie starts to go downhill when the militant animal rights activist is introduced. For the most part, the heart leaves the story and what should have been another time of emotional upheaval, all you get is anger from both sides. The courtroom scene and the ending are very contrived.
My husband and I both felt the movie felt flat. We wanted to feel more and be more invested in the characters. I feel the jump from the hospital to 4 years in the future is one place that could have been used to help us feel empathy for Nate. The film was interesting and had potential that it just didn’t deliver on.
I am giving away one Blu-Ray + Digital copy of Gigi & Nate. To enter you must have a physical US address, no PO Boxes please. The giveaway ends 12:00am ET 11-11-22, the winner will be verified and notified via email. They have 24 hours to claim their prize. Prize fulfillment will be handled by the sponsor.